Friday, June 12, 2009



James Blake is a former finalist here, losing to Lleyton Hewitt in 2006, after a fine win over Andy Roddick in the semis.

Surprisingly, after that he choose to play Halle instead in both 07 and 08 and I am not 100% convinced how happy he is playing in England.

He has never got beyond the third round at Wimbledon and the media give him a bit of a grilling, with constant reference to the fact that he has a British mother. I have seen quite a lot of him this week and it really is the same old story, consistently, inconsistent. He is almost unplayable for a few games and then seems to lose concentration and games slip away very quickly.

I think this will be close today, the two have never met in an ATP event, but have faced each other in two close Davis Cup ties. Youzhny has taken a while to get going this year and has really only hit form on clay, with 10 of his 17 wins before this event coming on the dirt. At least that enabled him to find his touch and on his day he is a formidable grass court player. He has five times made the fourth round at Wimbledon, losing to the eventual winner twice and another two times to the ultimate runner up.

The Russian has had a good career, but maybe not reached the heights expected. Many excellant judges, including Roger Federer consider Youzhny as good as anyone on tour on the practice courts and hopefully one day we will see him carry that form right the way through a big tournament. I make this game a bit of a toss up, between two evenly match shotmakers, with Youzhny's big backhand taking on Blake's flat forehand monster, at the odds offered, the Russian has to be backed and also a little on the "over".

6 points Youzhny to win 2.375 Stan James/ Exchanges.

5 points "over" 22.5 games 1.80 Bet 365 .

Good Luck.

No comments: